Distribution Automatique

Sunday, November 6

Poetry Reading Cures Week Long Migraine

In what might be a first in medical and poetical history, Toni Simon announced yesterday at the Bowery Poetry Club that a poetry reading had made her laugh so hard it cured her week-long migraine headache. Two poets were featured at the Club, Drew Gardner and Alan Davies. Drew read from his book - Petroleum Hat- (newly published by Roof Books). He accompanied himself excellently at the electric piano along with a fine bass player and drummer; shades of Bob Dylan. Is this possibly a preamble to a new major poetic form: the flarf opera?

Here are some lines from the poem that knocked out Toni's headache: (*JOHN DENVER WAWA SHADOW PUPPET GOVERNMENT*)

"soon we'll all be praying to John Denver
if we don't allow right-wing poor people to be happy ALL the time,
teach their kids how to pray in the direction of pizza
yet see no problem
with the Lord's Prayer printed in ghostly pubic hair"

Since a CD was cut at the reading, there is some possibility that those of you who could not be there might at some point get to listen to a recording. Stay tuned!

Alan Davies read from a long work-in-progress. I spoke with him after the reading and learned that the work is, at this point, well over 300 pages! The whole is as yet untitled, and is divided in 10 books. He read from Book 9. These were powerfully lyrical, meditative poems. It was hard to break away from listening to jot down some lines:

"the words are like dictation from one's self to one's self"

"don't try... it writes itself"

"let the wild words win"

"no more smoking
no more drinking
just looking
to see if you're there"

"frail fugue of video"

"literary anxiety's the worst
blaming everybody
for cultural demise
when it's the reverse"

"the lollipop hop
before we drop"

"just as plunder hungers
hunger plunders"

"people are designed
to be stupid"

"it's all about risk, asshole
if you're not going to take it
you ain't going to make it"

Alan Davies left the stage, all too soon, to thunderous applause.

Audience sightings: Lee Ann Brown, Mitch Highfill, Bob Perelman, Marianne Shaneen, Ulla Dydo, Pierre Joris, Bruce Andrews, Tom Savage, Katie Degentesh, Tim Peterson, Sharon Mesmer, Jonathan Mayhew, Adeena Karasik, publisher James Sherry, Deborah Thomas, Rodrigo Toscano, Laura Elrick and hosts: Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan.